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Controversial Film Contains Beauty, Horror

Movie: ‘Mother!’

What to make of a movie so full of sickening contradictions as “Mother!,” the latest creation from the apparently fevered mind of Darren Aronofsky? Both beautiful and horrible to look at, is it parable or lurid exploitation, meditation or sensationalism, honest or another of Aronofsky’s manipulations? (I would use another noun that includes “mother” if this were not a family newspaper).

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Haunting Films Have A Message

Movies: Beacon Independent Film Festival

While Hollywood is scaring us, scaling buildings, blowing up things and only occasionally making us laugh, independent documentary filmmakers are toiling in the trenches, bringing us gut-wrenching stories that need to be told.
Such were three films shown at the Beacon Independent Film Festival, which was held Sept. 15 to 17 in Beacon, N.Y. (Details are at www.beaconindiefilmfest.org.)Each was raw and haunting, with an urgent message. They fell under a Saturday afternoon session appropriately titled “Failing Institutions.”

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Film Production Closes Area Road

Movie: ‘A Quiet Place’

The production of “A Quiet Place,” a supernatural horror film directed by John Krasinski and produced by Michael Bay, has shut down West Dover Road (County Route 20) in the towns of Dover and Pawling through Oct. 23.
According to the Dutchess County Department of Public Works, a quarter-mile section of West Dover Road near Blackberry Road was closed on Sept. 6 and a detour has been posted, redirecting traffic over Route 22 via Pleasant Ridge Road and River Road. 

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What Is It? Creepy, Fun

Movie: ‘It’

Andy Muschietti’s “It,” based on Stephen King’s novel, is about a creepy clown of the supernatural variety that preys on children in late 1980s Maine. A group of plucky kids, who already take enough crap, band together to face the evil menace.
What a pleasure it is to squirm in a movie theater for the right reasons. “It” is the world record holder for “Don’t go into the cellar” moments.

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Renner Is Worth The Ticket

Movie: ‘Wind River’

Taylor Sheridan is a screenwriter who captures elements of the zeitgeist of contemporary America. In 2015’s “Sicario,” it was the continuing drug war on the U.S.-Mexican border, while in 2016’s gritty, mesmerizing “Hell or High Water” it was the desperate actions of two brothers hard-pressed for money in the post-recession Texas Panhandle. 

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It’s Absurd, But You’ll Laugh

Movie: ‘Logan Lucky’

Steven Soderbergh is a control freak: He writes his own scripts under aliases, does most of his own camera work and his own editing. No wonder he took a three-year break from making movies. Now he is back with “Logan Lucky,” an unusual film even for a maker of strange films. Whether you will like it depends on your willingness to ignore absurdity of story, broadness of acting and patronizing of characters and setting.

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Gordon-Levitt And Tatum Lend Voices To Romanian Cops

TV: ‘Comrade Detective’

‘Comrade Detective” is a six-part television series streaming on Amazon Video. Ostensibly a 1980s cop show from Romania, it is really an extended put-on from Channing Tatum and Jon Ronson.
The episodes were shot in Romania with Romanian actors, and the deliberately bad dubbing uses the voices of American and British actors.

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Hard To Watch, Important To See

Movie: ‘Detroit’

In July 1967, against a backdrop of racial unrest in cities across the country, Detroit police raided an unlicensed nightclub where the black community had gathered to celebrate the return of several soldiers from Vietnam. 
As the police rounded up the revelers, a crowd gathered, a bottle was thrown and a few people began breaking store windows and looting the contents. At first the police stood by, expecting the discord to settle down on its own, but by morning the Michigan State Police and National Guard had been called.

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It’s Not A Typical War Movie

Movie: ‘Dunkirk’

Reality has never been part of Christopher Nolan’s cinematic canon. From his breakout “Memento” in 2000 through the “Dark Knight” Batman trilogy to “Inception” and “Interstellar,” he has given audiences worlds born in his imagination. So a real event, the miraculous evacuation of more than 300,000 Allied troops from the expansive English Channel beaches of Dunkirk, France, would hardly seem a subject that interested Nolan. Yet it has for over 25 years.

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Heartwarming And Hilarious

Movie: ‘The Big Sick’

Kumail Nanjiani grew up in Pakistan with his family, then moved to the United States as a teenager. They want him to get a respectable, professional job, but he dreams of being a successful comedian. They also want to arrange a marriage between their son and a nice Pakistani girl; he’s not keen on the whole idea of an arranged marriage.

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